The following are the commonly used absolute measures of dispersion or variability. (i) Range (ii) Quartile Deviation (iii) Mean Deviation (iv) Standard Deviation (v) Lorenz Curve
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It is helpful for determining the reliability of an average. It points out the extent to which the average is the representative of the entire data. It enables comparison of two or more distributions with regard to their variability.
Dispersion or variation can be expressed either in terms of the original units of a series or as an abstract figure like a ratio or percentage.
Since measures of dispersion are usually called as averages of the second order, they should possess all the qualities of a good average. According to Yule and Kendall, they are as follows :